1 Cursor Design and Advanced Interactivity
I’ve noticed with some amusement how cursor design has become a ‘thing’ – this involves the fundamental aspect of pointing and clicking becoming a more immersive experience. Whilst a cursor used to be all about function, this trend sees ‘form’ being added into the mix. Cursor shapes, sizes, colours and animations are all being experimented with ultimately leading to a more memorable interaction with the product.
Google’s Jigsaw implements a great design of their cursors within their content, from their homepage (which highlights the text like a torch when moving around the screen) through their magazine ‘The Current’ which tackles complex social issues.
2 Data Visualisation
Data visualisation is becoming more commonplace than ever in 2023 and shows no signs of slowing down. Instead of data science teams being the consumers of data, visualisation of it has crossed over into the mainstream. From fitness apps such as OURA bringing you attractive graphs on your ‘readiness’ or sleep and more through to the popular Spotify Wrapped which does a stellar job of analysing your listening data in a hugely immersive experience. Banking apps are also on the case with more attractive visualisation of spending graphs and summaries being used by the likes of Monzo.
3 Dark Mode
Whilst dark mode entered our lives to much cheer (from some) a few years ago it is finally maturing in complexity. Initially when launched it was a mess, with design patterns not properly evolved to take into account various UI elements or screens. There IS a reasoning behind the madness – dark mode (hailing from devs always working in this type of dark/light ratio) is meant to reduce screen fatigue. More and more products are building dark mode toggles in to their preferences or even promoting the switch at a higher level such as coda which allows light or dark mode switching from the home screen.
Whether you like it or not AI has been a game changer in 2023. The democratisation of its use through chatGPT has seen product practitioners, designers and copywriters all have a look at how they can improve their workflow, generate incredible content quickly and accelerate their efficiencies and creativity at work. Whether it is AI created images or text, AI is here to stay. UX designers can use AI to rapidly derive insights from text or provide sentiment analysis in surveys. Designers can use the more creative elements of AI with tools such as Runway and DALL-E 2 to produce beautiful visuals. AI fuses driving efficiency with the wonderment of the unknown and art.
What was once simply a button changing shape with a hover behaviour, micro-interactions are now widespread. They offers users a richer experience especially where the interaction is led by intent. For example, Medium decided a while ago that liking an article wasn’t enough – they build a little clap icon that when clicked to show appreciation (more suited to the intent) a bunch of tiny confetti was animated and your ‘click’ registered next to the clap icon. Apple are the master of beautiful micro-interactions when they launch a new product. They fuse parallax scrolling, animation, 3D and much more, creating a superbly rich interactive experience.